Feather Tattoos and Their Meaning

When it comes to identity and self expression tattoos can be really important to some people. They can be used as a way for some people to express themselves and their creative mindset.

Feather Tattoos and Their Meaning
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Many people see their own bodies as a blank canvas that is free to be decorated however they wish to do so.

Sometimes people choose to get tattoos simply for aesthetic reasons such as they think that they are pretty or cold whereas others get them because they hold great meaning to them.

Regardless of why people choose to get tattoos the vast majority of individuals do have some sort of reason behind why they get the tattoos that they do. 

Feather Tattoos and Their Meaning

What Exactly Does A Feather Tattoo Mean?

Feather tattoos are in common use. This is partially because they can represent multiple different things, they are symbolic of many different meanings such as:


Feather tattoos are often used to represent freedom. This is because birds are known for being free, for instance, the saying “as free as a bird” did not come from nowhere.

People may use this tattoo to show that they live freely or that they have reached a place of freedom after previously not having it, for instance, after an abusive relationship. 


Feathers are also often associated with purity. This meaning has carried through to the tattoo industry with lots of people getting these tattoos to represent a sense of purity.

This could be used in many ways such as to show that they have a pure soul or that they are pure in a religious sense for instance if they do not drink or believe in chastity.

Feather Tattoos and Their Meaning
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Another way that feathers can be used as a symbol of purity is when playing tribute to a lost loved one. For instance, if a loved one was lost at a young age, particularly as a child, this may be used to show that they were pure and innocent. 


Birds are often linked with communication as are feathers, this is for multiple reasons including the fact that many people who believe in the spirit world believe that spirits use feathers to send messages or to communicate with loved ones.

Therefore, many people choose to get this tattoo to show that they still have a connection to a lost loved one. 


Feathers are commonly thought of as being symbolic of rebirths and this is another reason that some people choose to get a feather tattoo. They may want to show rebirth if they believe that they have personally been through a rebirth and have come out as a much better person.

Similarly, they may also choose to have this done as a symbol of their beliefs, for instance, if a person strongly believes that rebirth is possible then they may choose to get this tattoo to show this visually. 


As previously mentioned feathers are very important in spirituality. This is for many reasons including the fact that they are often used as a mode of communication between the living and the dead which can be a very difficult barrier to cross.

Feather Tattoos and Their Meaning
Credit: daidystattoo

They also have much more meaning in spirituality such as the fact that different colored feathers are thought to represent different things.

Therefore, many spiritualistic people choose to have a feather tattoo done as a representation of their own personal beliefs and the importance of spirituality in their lives. 


Enlightenment is a process which both individuals and communities can go through and generally has religious connotations. Most commonly a person feels that they have gone through a period of enlightenment when they turn to God and first find that religion is important to them.

This can be a very important time in some people’s lives and therefore people often want to show this in their tattoos. For these reasons a lot of feather tattoos are in fact linked to enlightenment. 


Feather tattoos are also linked to bravery.

People often choose to get tattoos that represent bravery for many reasons including to remind themselves that they are brave everyday or once they have overcome a really difficult time that required a lot of bravery as this can be a positive way of looking back on an awful time. 


There is also a common association between wisdom and feathers therefore, many people who value wisdom choose to have this tattoo. Some people simply choose it as it is a quality that they respect in others while others choose to have it as they view themselves as having a lot of wisdom.

Feather Tattoos and Their Meaning
Credit: cat.artisan_tattoo

Similarly, some people choose to have this as a tribute to a lost loved one who they viewed as having a lot of wisdom. This is especially common when someone has lost an older loved one such as a parent or grandparent. 


There are strong links between feathers and the royal family. This is believed to be partially down to more British heritage. For instance in Britain the royal family even have ownership over some birds for instance the current Queen (Elixabeth the second) owns the swans.

People often choose to have royal based tattoos if they are fans of the royal family and want to pay tribute to them. However, there are also many other connotations of royalty such as wealth and respect which an individual may desire to have and therefore they may have a tattoo based around. 

Best Places To Have A Feather Tattoo

Feather Tattoo

Where you choose to have a feather tattoo is up to you however before you decide there are some things to consider. These things include:


How big you want your feather tattoo to be is up to you but this needs to be taken into consideration when trying to decide where to have it. People choose to have this tattoo in a range of sizes.

Having said that most commonly it is a small and light looking tattoo in order to most accurately reflect real feathers. However, depending on the meaning behind the tattoo you may want it in a larger size in which case you would need to consider using a body part with a larger surface area such as the back. 


When deciding where to have any tattoo you should consider your own personal pain threshold. Some more painful places include your spine, fingers, and ribs so if you have a low pain tolerance then these might be some places worth trying to avoid.


Deciding to have a tattoo is one thing but it is also important to consider whether or not you want to be able to cover it up. This could be for reasons such as work, family disapproval or for certain social situations.

Generally speaking the feather tattoo is unlikely to be contested against so unless you specifically need to cover all tattoos then you are unlikely to have any need to cover this one up.

Feather Tattoos and Their Meaning
Credit: emmamccormickart

Social Acceptance

Similarly to the above, when deciding on the placement of your tattoo you should try to weigh up how socially acceptable it is as this could have an impact on where you choose to have it.

Luckily, the feather tattoo is widely accepted and can cause very little offence so it is more than likely going to be accepted within any community. 

Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that there is not one simple meaning behind all feather tattoos but rather that there are multiple different meanings that feathers can convey. For example, feathers can be symbolic of purity, spirituality and wisdom amongst other things. 

Peter Beaker